Programme Specifications

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1 Programme Specifications MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY IN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORY 1 Awarding body University of Cambridge 2 Teaching institution Faculty of History 3 Accreditation details None 4 Name of final award Master of Philosophy 5 Programme title Economic and Social History 6 JACS code(s) V310, V320 7 Relevant QAA benchmark statement(s) None 8 Qualifications framework level 7 (Masters) 9 Date specification was produced July 2015 Educational aims of the programme to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop the technical skills and expertise necessary for research in the field of Economic and Social History to give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision to provide the appropriate academic and intellectual background for the student who successfully completes the MPhil to proceed to register for the Ph.D. by: providing a thorough training in statistical and social science methodology (including quantitative and qualitative methods) by developing the students awareness of economic relations and institutions as cultural and historical phenomena by giving students the knowledge and skills necessary to locate, read, interpret and analyse primary source material by developing students understanding of key terms, debates, arguments and models in the field and encouraging them to apply this knowledge to their own research by guiding students in the choice of a viable and original research project, constructing a research project, writing a proposal, compiling a bibliography and writing a thesis that observes appropriate scholarly protocols by giving students the opportunity to attend research seminars and lectures by eminent historians in the field and the opportunity to present their own research and issues arising from it before an audience of peers and staff members. All students will be provided with an understanding of the ways in which practitioners in this field have approached a range of key theoretical problems through a course of weekly classes focusing on relevant theoretical problems in economic theory and economic history, as well as ancillary disciplines such as sociology and anthropology.

2 All students will be provided with the analytical and technical tools and skills necessary to understand and evaluate existing research and to pursue research in their own field of interest. All students will have the opportunity to explore the general questions raised by the introductory classes within a particular historical context by taking two option papers over the course of the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. There are usually five to eight option courses on offer in any given year. All students will be provided with one-to-one supervision towards the dissertation; precise titles must finalised by the student under the guidance of the supervisor by the end of the Lent Term. Programme Outcomes Knowledge and Understanding By the end of the course, students should have: 1. developed a deeper understanding of their chosen area of social and economic history and the critical debates within it; 2. a conceptual and technical understanding that enables the evaluation of current research and methodologies; 3. the ability to situate their own research within current and past methodological and interpretative developments in the field. Teaching and Learning Skills are developed through: regular introductory classes on key debates and concepts training classes in key methods and analytical techniques (survey methods, quantitative methods and ethnographic methods) option course seminars one-to-one supervisions on research presentation of a brief paper setting out the objectives of the research project early in he one-to-one supervision towards the dissertation personal study Skills and other attributes By the end of the course, the students should have acquired: 1. the skills necessary to locate, read, interpret and analyse the primary source material relevant to the student's area of interest 2. the skills necessary to critically evaluate their own and others' work 3. the ability to formulate a research proposal using the appropriate primary materials and to place this within its relevant historical context, to locate and assimilate relevant secondary source material and to discuss pertinent interpretative debates 4. the ability to reach an independent judgement, based on their own research Page 2 of 5

3 5. a facility in communicating the results of their ideas, research and its conclusion in a written form as a work of historical scholarship, and as an oral contribution in a research colloquium. Assessment Part I comprises the taught components of the MPhil and is worth 30% of the overall mark: a. an essay of between 3,000 and 4,000 words on one of the themes covered in Central Concepts and Problems of Economic and Social History and Theory b. attendance at the Social Sciences Research Methods courses core programme c. an essay in the form of a dissertation proposal (up to 4,000 words) d. two essays of up to 4,000 words each on the student s chosen Option Papers Part II: the thesis (up to 20,000 words) Requirements for the award of the degree 1. In order to be awarded the degree, the student must pass Part I*. A marginal fail (59%) in any one assessed element of course must be compensated by an agreed mark of at least 63% in the thesis. An outright fail (58% or below) is a fail on the whole course. 2. The degree is awarded on the satisfactory completion of a 20,000-word thesis, submitted within the deadline and awarded a mark of 60% or above. 3. A mark of 59% on the thesis denotes a borderline fail (i.e. that the failing and passing qualities of the thesis are very evenly balanced and that the examiner would be willing to consider raising the mark. If this mark is awarded by one or more examiners, an oral examination must be held. *Part 1 comprises taught components of the MPhil worth 30% (3 x essays) Indicators of quality The MPhil in Economic and Social History is taught by a team of experts with an international reputation. The MPhil in Economic and Social History admits approximately students every year. Of these approximately 4 will proceed to the doctoral degree. Work based on thesis submitted for this MPhil has been published in refereed journals. The course differs from that offered by the London School of Economics which has a more econometric emphasis, and from Oxford which is more theoretical. Page 3 of 5

4 Learning Support All students are members of a College as well as the Faculty and have access to learning support from both College and University. Each student has an overall supervisor who gives advice on planning the year's work. Individual specialists may also help with preparation for essays. Progress is monitored through the three elements of Part I. These include material related to the General skills course, but also a intermediate essay outlining the research project. These are all double-marked within five weeks of submission and feedback is forwarded to the student by the Degree Committee through the Academic Secretary. The Faculty's Academic Secretary and Graduate Adviser can also offer advice. The College Tutor for Graduates will also play a role in induction, support and guidance. An MPhil Handbook is available. The Faculty's learning resources include the Seeley Library, a large general collection for the use primarily of undergraduates. There are also important links with the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure and with the Centre for History and Economics. Management of teaching quality and standards The Faculty participates in the University's quality assurance and enhancement system: 1. Internal Examining: two internal examiners mark the Central Concepts and the Advanced Paper examination. All essays with seriously discrepant marks are sent to a third reader. 2. External Examining: the MPhil in Economic and Social History has an external examiner who submits a report which is considered by the MPhil Sub-Committee, the Degree Committee, the Faculty Board of History and the General Board s Education Committee. The external examiner s report is also seen by the Director of Graduate Training. 3. The MPhil Sub-Committee solicits formal feedback statements (in the form of questionnaires) from the students taking the course; these are forwarded to the external examiner and to the Director of Graduate Training. A summary of feedback results is incorporated in the Academic Secretary's annual report to the Degree Committee. 4. Student feedback for each MPhil is also considered by the Graduate Teaching and Learning Committee, which includes student representatives from each MPhil and may make recommendations to the Degree Committee. 5. Responsibility for executing any policies arising from the external examiner's report or from student feedback lies with the Academic Secretary and the Director of Graduate Training. 6. The approval of the Degree Committee, the Board of Graduate Studies and the Education Committee of the General Board must be obtained before any major revisions or adjustments to the MPhil programme and its delivery are carried out. 7. General Board review: the Faculty undergoes a reflective, centrally co-ordinated Learning and Teaching Review every six years, and completes a yearly Annual Quality Update to enable central overview of provision and to assist in dissemination of good practice. Page 4 of 5

5 Graduate employability and career destinations Preparation for employment is provided in the opportunities for acquisition of relevant skills outlined above. The Careers Service maintains links with relevant employers and takes into account employer needs and opinions in the services which it provides for students. The Careers Service also allocates a Careers Adviser to each College, Faculty and Department to act as a point of contact. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this programme specification. At the time of publication, the programme specification has been approved by the relevant Faculty Board (or equivalent). Programme specifications are reviewed annually, however, during the course of the academical year, any approved changes to the programme will be communicated to enrolled students through notification or publication in the Reporter. The relevant faculty or department will endeavour to update the programme specification accordingly, and prior to the start of the next academical year. Further information about specifications and an archive of programme specifications for all awards of the University is available online at: Page 5 of 5

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